Remote Work Options with your SkyScan System or Lab Outsourcing

With current changes to working hours and increased utilization of social distancing to minimize the community transmission of the COVID19 virus, many laboratories are pausing sample testing and normal operations to allow staff to work remotely.

This article details some tips and considerations for utilizing your SkyScan instrument remotely.

Remote Work Considerations:

There are numerous remote desktop applications available on the market today (TeamVIewer, LogMeIn, Chrome Remote Desktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop) that provide you with a live link to your laboratory computers with the ability to remotely control actions as if you were sitting in the laboratory. Please consult with your local IT team regarding your company or organization’s policies related to these types of software programs to see any restrictions you may have.

If you have access to a remote desktop application, your work doesn’t have to cease during an absence from the laboratory. Through utilization of your link to your laboratory you can still run all your applications as normal. This remote access works best with data already acquired using your SkyScan instrument. However, if there is someone in the laboratory to switch samples, you can fully control your instrument from remote locations, including setting up new scans.

Be very cautious when setting up scans remotely to respect the required working distance for your sample from the instrument components (X-ray source, X-ray camera) since you will not be there to hear any issues. Be sure to make use of the visual camera within your instrument when positioning samples to avoid contacting these sensitive components. Damage to your instrument arising from samples striking the X-ray source or camera are most likely not covered in your instrument warranty so always double check your settings prior to starting a scan remotely. This is particularly true for anyone utilizing a SkyScan 1173, as no visual camera is present within the instrument. Although the SkyScan 1273 lacks a visual camera it does ask for the dimensions of the sample when setting up a scan to lock the stage from bringing the sample too close to the instrument components.

Alternatively, if you do not have access to remote desktop applications but have your SkyScan data available on a network drive you can access from home with a VPN, all of the SkyScan suite of software products are available to download from the new Bruker Support website after you create a free account. This includes NRecon, DataViewer, CTVox, and CTVol. CTAn is available as well but as the only licensed software product, you will need a copy of your company’s license from your laboratory computer to install the software on your home PC. Please reach out to us for specific details on how to transfer the license if this is something you are working on completing. Do keep in mind that all the software is available only for PC and 64-bit computers will be more efficient in working with the data. Also, the specifications of your computer (RAM, disk speed, processor speed, graphics card) will significantly affect the time required to complete operations on your data from home.

Summary of remote operations:

With increased remote working to facilitate social distancing, you have several options available to you through your SkyScan instrument to keep your work moving, ranging from remote desktop applications to moving data processing and analysis to your local PC through a networked drive or VPN connection.

Please reach out to us with any questions on this process or with other application support questions.

We hope this tip will help you with your instrument and encourage you to contact us at 610-366-7103 if you have any questions. Please email info@microphotonics.com if any assistance is needed.

Outsourcing laboratory operations during shutdowns:

Micro Photonics operates a fully equipped micro-CT imaging and analysis laboratory from our offices in Allentown, PA. 

Project Outsourcing: Micro Photonics is happy to work with anyone who needs to obtain micro-CT images or analysis during the indefinite restrictions we are facing as a community.

For projects where delays may impact your projects, Micro Photonics is available to provide imaging and analysis services through our laboratory to help you continue to meet your needs during this time of uncertainty.

Please email info@microphotonics.com if any assistance is needed.

 

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